Wichita State basketball coach Gregg Marshall gets one more chance to evaluate his team against outside competition before it's decision time.
He has three of his starters penciled in, although he wants to keep his lineup a mystery until closer to the game. He wants to redshirt at least one, perhaps, two players. And he need to find somebody who can handle the ball when senior Clevin Hannah is on the bench.
Marshall said he liked how his team played in Sunday's closed scrimmage against Kansas State. The Shockers play Newman on Saturday in an exhibition game leading up to the Nov. 15 season opener against Fairleigh Dickinson at Koch Arena.
"I'm going to try to play everybody on my bench," Marshall said. "I'm going to try to win the game, but more importantly I'm trying to get ready for (Nov. 15)."
It will be a surprise if Hannah and junior guard Graham Hatch aren't in the starting lineup. They have been WSU's most consistent standouts in scrimmages and practices. Junior forward J.T. Durley is a likely starter as WSU's most experienced big man. Sophomore guard Toure Murry is the only Shocker who started all 34 games last season. As of Thursday, Marshall doesn't want anybody getting comfortable.
"I've got three guys, for sure, that will be starting," Marshall said. "Two spots still are pretty close."
First-season players can play in the exhibition without burning their ability to redshirt. Marshall wants to redshirt at least one player. Freshman forward Jerome Hamilton and freshman guard Tyler Richardson appear likely candidates because of the amount of experience in front of them.
The one place where WSU lacks depth is point guard. After Hannah, freshmen Kenny Manigault and Demetric Williams are the backups. Murry played some point last season.
Williams, from Las Vegas, did not play in Shocker Madness, so he is looking forward to his debut in front of fans.
"I'm excited, a little anxious, to show people what I can do," Williams said. "I'm just trying to get better learning the system and fit in with my teammates."
If momentum and confidence matter in early November, the Shockers got some after Sunday's scrimmage and practice session against the Wildcats. Marshall said his team handled K-State's athletic advantage better than it did a year ago when the teams scrimmaged in Manhattan.
"Last year, they kind of overwhelmed us," he said. "That wasn't the case. It was an even battle on the glass. We're bigger, longer, more athletic. We've got some guys who have done it before."
Notes — Sophomore David Kyles, who sat out the scrimmage with a sprained left ankle, is practicing.... The Nov. 15 game against Fairleigh Dickinson is part of the CBE Classic. The Shockers play Arkansas-Monticello on Nov. 18 before heading to Kansas City for games on Nov. 23 (Pittsburgh) and 24 (Texas or Iowa) at the Sprint Center.